Last week when I posted the recipe for Braised Pork Chops with Carrots I gave you just a little sneak peak at what turned out to be my favorite part of the meal…
Corn, Zucchini & Spinach Gratin!
While I love the traditional creamy, cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin, I feel like those are just a little too sinful for everyday eating.
However, this lovely gratin is chock full of vegetables. Corn, zucchini and spinach are all packed in there making this a much healthier alternative.
But don’t worry, we didn’t skimp on the cheese or cream.
Here’s what you need:
Corn, Zucchini, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Fresh Thyme, Eggs, Milk (not pictured), Heavy Cream, Olive Oil, Cheddar Cheese, Pecorino Romano Cheese, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prep the vegetables by finely chopping 1 small onion (about 1 cup) and 2 cloves of garlic.
I have 1 (5 oz.) bag of baby spinach that I have roughly chopped. Just run your knife through the spinach both directions across your board and that should do the trick.
While you’re chopping, cut the kernels off of 2 ears of corn and slice 1 medium zucchini into thin rounds.
Pull the tiny leaves off of 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme to equal about 1 teaspoon. If your thyme leaves are large or woody, give them a quick chop.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme leaves and sauté 2-3 minutes until tender but not browned.
Add the chopped spinach and cook 1-2 minutes until it wilts.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the spinach cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine 3 eggs, ¼ cup milk, and ¼ cup heavy cream.
Stir to combine and break up the egg yolks.
Add the corn (1 cup frozen is a fine substitute if fresh is not in season) and ¾ cup grated white cheddar cheese.
Season with salt & pepper – about 1/2 teaspoon each (or more to taste), and a good dash of nutmeg.
Sometimes I also add a dash of cayenne pepper for a little extra kick.
Stir to combine.
Butter or spray a 2 quart baking dish.
Did you know that baking dishes are sized by volume, in this case quarts rather than inches because there are so many differently shaped casserole, baking, or gratin dishes.
If you’re in doubt, and it’s not printed on the bottom of your dish, simply use a measuring cup to fill your dish with water. 2 quarts = 8 cups.
Place half of your zucchini rounds in the bottom of the dish.
Sitr the cooled spinach & onion mixutre into the eggs…
and then pour it into the casserole.
Top with the remaining zucchini slices.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or parmesan) cheese over the top.
Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy on the top.
Allow the gratin to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
It’s not the prettiest picture with my big industrial sized spoon, but I wanted you to see the layers of corn, zucchini, and spinach.
Just look at how many veggies are packed in there!
Corn, Zucchini & Spinach Gratin is a great base recipe to learn. You could substitute many different greens or vegetables for endless gratin combinations.
Even though these are primarily summer vegetables, they can also be found year round in the store and frozen corn can easily be substituted when fresh is no longer in season.
This makes a great side dish to almost any meal but would be a real showstopper at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday meals.
Here’s the recipe: